Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.


by John Macker

to Annie
In the wildlife refuge this winter
a flock of snow geese ascends as one
loosely woven textile undulating in
the wind, white as a parliament of moons,
its light as a feather sojourn
in the shapelessness of time’s passage
a contemplation of pure organic form.
It is nineteen degrees
January is one snowfall away from
lasting until spring.
I read where a hobbled
Jim Harrison died at his writing
table in his writing shack
finished but never finished
one of those presences
with no beginning or end
one-eyed smash-mouthed angel
             birds are poems I haven’t caught yet
Last words must defy gravity.
Some days winter is in name only. Some
days the wind chill is bone deep.
No lapses in wonder,
just the earth, indelicate caregiver,
accessorizing itself with
tapirs and titmice
lone pine tip thrasher’s morning song
nuances that subvert power
spasms of uplift like this unfurling
snowscape of take your breath away birds.
                                                       −January 20, 2017

Award-winning essayist and poet John Macker's latest books of poetry are Disassembled Badlands and Blood in the Mix (with Lawrence Welsh). He is a contributing editor to Albuquerque's Malpais Review.